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PLEASE READ - CASE ACT placed on US Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders - it will end the internet as we know it

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  • PLEASE READ - CASE ACT placed on US Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders - it will end the internet as we know it

    The Senate Judiciary Committee intends to vote on the CASE Act, legislation that would create a brand new quasi-court for copyright infringement claims. We have expressed numerous concerns with the legislation, and serious problems inherent with the bill have not been remedied by Congress before moving it forward. In short, the bill would supercharge a “copyright troll” industry dedicated to filing as many “small claims” on as many Internet users as possible in order to make money through the bill’s statutory damages provisions. Every single person who uses the Internet and regularly interacts with copyrighted works (that’s everyone) should contact their Senators to oppose this bill.
    Easy $5,000 Copyright Infringement Tickets Won’t Fix Copyright Law

    Making it so easy to sue Internet users for allegedly infringing a copyrighted work that an infringement claim comes to resemble a traffic ticket is a terrible idea. This bill creates a situation where Internet users could easily be on the hook for multiple $5,000 copyright infringement judgments without many of the traditional legal safeguards or rights of appeal our justice system provides.
    The legislation would allow the Copyright Office to create a “determination” process for claims seeking up to $5,000 in damages:
    Regulations For Smaller Claims.—The Register of Copyrights shall establish regulations to provide for the consideration and determination, by at least one Copyright Claims Officer, of any claim under this chapter in which total damages sought do not exceed $5,000 (exclusive of attorneys’ fees and costs). A determination issued under this subsection shall have the same effect as a determination issued by the entire Copyright Claims Board.
    This could be read as permission for the Copyright Office to dispense with even the meager procedural protections provided elsewhere in the bill when a rightsholder asks for $5000 or less. In essence, what this means is any Internet user who uploads a copyrighted work could find themselves subject to a largely unappealable $5,000 penalty without anything resembling a trial or evidentiary hearing.

    Ever share a meme, share a photo that isn’t yours, or download a photo you didn’t create? Under this legislation, you could easily find yourself stuck with a $5,000 judgment debt following the most trivial nod towards due process.

    Every Internet User Could Face Life-Altering Money Judgments Thanks to Statutory Damages

    Proponents of the legislation argue that the bill’s cap on statutory damages in a new “small claims” tribunal will protect accused infringers. But the limits imposed by the CASE Act of $15,000 per work are far higher than the damages caps in most state small claims courts—and they don’t require any proof of harm or illicit profit. The Register of Copyrights would be free to raise that cap at any time. And the CASE Act would also remove a vital rule that protects Internet users – the registration precondition on statutory damages.
    Today, someone who is going to sue a person for copyright infringement has to register their work with the Copyright Office before the infringement began, or within three months of first publication, in order to be entitled to statutory damages. Without a timely registration, violating someone’s copyright would only put an infringer on the hook for what the violation actually cost the copyright holder (called “actual damages”), or the infringer’s profits. This is a key protection for the public because copyright is ubiquitous: it automatically covers nearly every creative work from the moment it’s set down in tangible form. But not every scribble, snapshot, or notepad is eligible for statutory damages—only the ones that U.S. authors make a small effort to protect up front by filing for registration. But if Congress passes this bill, the timely registration requirement will no longer be a requirement for no-proof statutory damages of up to $7,500 per work. In other words, nearly every photo, video, or bit of text on the Internet can suddenly carry a $7,500 price tag if uploaded, downloaded, or shared even if the actual harm from that copying is nil.
    For many Americans, where the median income is $57,652 per year, this $7,500 price tag for what has become regular Internet behavior would result in life-altering lawsuits from copyright trolls that will exploit this new law. That is what happens when you eliminate the processes that tend to ensure only a truly motivated copyright holder can obtain statutory damages.
    Censorship of Speech Will Become More Pervasive Under this Legislation

    Another major problem with the CASE Act is how it transforms a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice into a long-term censorship tool. Under current law, if a copyright holder submits a takedown notice to an online platform alleging that your post infringed their copyright, you have a right to file a counter-notice if you disagree. There are many times when false takedown claims occur on the Internet and perfectly lawful speech is suppressed, and counter-notices are an important, though flawed, check on abuse. But the CASE Act would allow a party that filed a takedown notice to also bring a claim with the new “small claims” tribunal. When they do so, the Internet platform doesn’t have to honor the counter-notice by putting the posted material back online within 14 days. Already, some of the worst abuses of the DMCA occur with time-sensitive material, as even a false infringement notice can effectively censor that material for up to two weeks during a newsworthy event, for example. The CASE Act would allow unscrupulous filers to extend that period by months, for a small filing fee.
    If all these outcomes sound terrible to you and you want to send a clear message to Congress not to move forward, then you need to contact your Senators right away to tell them you oppose the CASE Act (S. 1273) and want them to oppose it on your behalf.
    "May the long time sun
    Shine upon you,
    All love surround you,
    And the pure light within you
    Guide your way on."

    "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
    Aristotle

    “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
    Mohandas Gandhi

    Be the light that is within.

  • #2
    § 1502. Copyright Claims Board
    “(a) In General.—There is established in the Copyright Office the Copyright Claims Board, which shall serve as an alternative forum in which parties may voluntarily seek to resolve certain copyright claims regarding any category of copyrighted work, as provided in this chapter.
    “(b) Officers And Staff.—
    “(1) COPYRIGHT CLAIMS OFFICERS.—The Register of Copyrights shall recommend 3 full-time Copyright Claims Officers to serve on the Copyright Claims Board in accordance with paragraph (3)(A). The Officers shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress to such positions after consultation with the Register of Copyrights.
    “(2) COPYRIGHT CLAIMS ATTORNEYS.—The Register of Copyrights shall hire not fewer than 2 full-time Copyright Claims Attorneys to assist in the administration of the Copyright Claims Board.

    snip


    § 1503. Authority and duties of the Copyright Claims Board
    “(a) Functions.—


    (1) COPYRIGHT CLAIMS OFFICERS.—Subject to the provisions of this chapter and applicable regulations, the functions of the Copyright Claims Officers shall be as follows:


    “(A) To render determinations on the civil copyright claims, counterclaims, and defenses that may be brought before the Officers under this chapter.
    “(B) To ensure that claims, counterclaims, and defenses are properly asserted and otherwise appropriate for resolution by the Copyright Claims Board.
    “(C) To manage the proceedings before the Officers and render rulings pertaining to the consideration of claims, counterclaims, and defenses, including with respect to scheduling, discovery, evidentiary, and other matters.
    “(D) To request, from participants and nonparticipants in a proceeding, the production of information and documents relevant to the resolution of a claim, counterclaim, or defense.
    “(E) To conduct hearings and conferences.
    “(F) To facilitate the settlement by the parties of claims and counterclaims.
    (G) (i) To award monetary relief;

    snip


    § 1504. Nature of proceedings
    “(a) Voluntary Participation.—Participation in a Copyright Claims Board proceeding shall be on a voluntary basis in accordance with this chapter and the right of any party to instead pursue a claim, counterclaim, or defense in a district court of the United States or any other court, and to seek a jury trial, shall be preserved.
    “(b) Statute Of Limitations.—
    “(1) IN GENERAL.—A proceeding may not be maintained before the Copyright Claims Board unless the proceeding is commenced, in accordance with section 1506(e), before the Copyright Claims Board within 3 years after the claim accrued.

    snip


    (c) Permissible Claims, Counterclaims, And Defenses.—The Copyright Claims Board may render determinations with respect to the following claims, counterclaims, and defenses, subject to such further limitations and requirements, including with respect to particular classes of works, as may be set forth in regulations established by the Register of Copyrights:
    (1) A claim for infringement of an exclusive right in a copyrighted work provided under section 106 by the legal or beneficial owner of the exclusive right at the time of the infringement for which the claimant seeks damages, if any, within the limitations set forth in subsection (e)(1).
    “(2) A claim for a declaration of noninfringement of an exclusive right in a copyrighted work provided under section 106, consistent with section 2201 of title 28.
    “(3) A claim under section 512(f) for misrepresentation in connection with a notification of claimed infringement or a counter notification seeking to replace removed or disabled material, except that any remedies relating to such a claim in a proceeding before the Copyright Claims Board shall be limited to those available under this chapter.
    “(4) A counterclaim that is asserted solely against the claimant in a proceeding—
    “(A) pursuant to which the counterclaimant seeks damages, if any, within the limitations set forth in subsection (e)(1); and
    “(B) that—
    “(i) arises under section 106 or section 512(f) and out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject of a claim of infringement brought under paragraph (1), a claim of noninfringement brought under paragraph (2), or a claim of misrepresentation brought under paragraph (3); or
    “(ii) arises under an agreement pertaining to the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject of a claim of infringement brought under paragraph (1), if the agreement could affect the relief awarded to the claimant.



    snip


    (e) Permissible Remedies.—

    “(1) MONETARY RECOVERY.—
    “(A) ACTUAL DAMAGES, PROFITS, AND STATUTORY DAMAGES FOR INFRINGEMENT.—With respect to a claim or counterclaim for infringement of copyright, and subject to the limitation on total monetary recovery under subparagraph (D), the Copyright Claims Board may award either of the following:
    “(i) Actual damages and profits determined in accordance with section 504(b), with that award taking into consideration, in appropriate cases, whether the infringing party has agreed to cease or mitigate the infringing activity under paragraph (2).
    “(ii) Statutory damages, which shall be determined in accordance with section 504(c), subject to the following conditions:
    “(I) With respect to works timely registered under section 412, so that the works are eligible for an award of statutory damages in accordance with that section, the statutory damages may not exceed $15,000 for each work infringed.
    “(II) With respect to works not timely registered under section 412, but eligible for an award of statutory damages under this section, statutory damages may not exceed $7,500 per work infringed, or a total of $15,000 in any 1 proceeding.
    “(III) The Copyright Claims Board may not make any finding that, or consider whether, the infringement was committed willfully in making an award of statutory damages.
    “(IV) The Copyright Claims Board may consider, as an additional factor in awarding statutory damages, whether the infringer has agreed to cease or mitigate the infringing activity under paragraph (2).

    snip



    § 1506. Conduct of proceedings

    snip

    (h) Notification By Copyright Claims Board.—The Register of Copyrights shall establish regulations providing for a written notification to be sent by, or on behalf of, the Copyright Claims Board to notify the respondent of a pending proceeding against the respondent, as set forth in those regulations, which shall—
    “(1) include information concerning the respondent’s right to opt out of the proceeding, the consequences of opting out and not opting out, and a prominent statement that, by not opting out within 60 days after the date of service under subsection (g), the respondent loses the opportunity to have the dispute decided by a court created under article III of the Constitution of the United States and waives the right to a jury trial regarding the dispute


    snip

    (c) Centralized Process.—Proceedings before the Copyright Claims Board shall—
    “(1) be conducted at the offices of the Copyright Claims Board without the requirement of in-person appearances by parties or others; and
    “(2) take place by means of written submissions, hearings, and conferences carried out through internet-based applications and other telecommunications facilities, except that, in cases in which physical or other nontestimonial evidence material to a proceeding cannot be furnished to the Copyright Claims Board through available telecommunications facilities, the Copyright Claims Board may make alternative arrangements for the submission of such evidence that do not prejudice any other party to the proceeding.
    “(d) Representation.—A party to a proceeding before the Copyright Claims Board may be, but is not required to be, represented by—
    “(1) an attorney; or
    “(2) a law student who is qualified under applicable law governing representation by law students of parties in legal proceedings and who provides such representation on a pro bono basis.


    snip




    § 1508. Review and confirmation by district court


    “(a) In General.—In any proceeding in which a party has failed to pay damages, or has failed otherwise to comply with the relief, awarded in a final determination of the Copyright Claims Board, including a default determination or a determination based on a failure to prosecute, the aggrieved party may, not later than 1 year after the date on which the final determination is issued, any reconsideration by the Copyright Claims Board or review by the Register of Copyrights is resolved, or an amended final determination is issued, whichever occurs last, apply to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or any other appropriate district court of the United States for an order confirming the relief awarded in the final determination and reducing such award to judgment. The court shall grant such order and direct entry of judgment unless the determination is or has been vacated, modified, or corrected under subsection (c). If the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or other district court of the United States, as the case may be, issues an order confirming the relief awarded by the Copyright Claims Board, the court shall impose on the party who failed to pay damages or otherwise comply with the relief, the reasonable expenses required to secure such order, including attorneys’ fees, that were incurred by the aggrieved party.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-...bill/1273/text

    "May the long time sun
    Shine upon you,
    All love surround you,
    And the pure light within you
    Guide your way on."

    "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
    Aristotle

    “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
    Mohandas Gandhi

    Be the light that is within.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post

      (c) Permissible Claims, Counterclaims, And Defenses.—The Copyright Claims Board may render determinations with respect to the following claims, counterclaims, and defenses, subject to such further limitations and requirements, including with respect to particular classes of works, as may be set forth in regulations established by the Register of Copyrights:
      (1) A claim for infringement of an exclusive right in a copyrighted work provided under section 106 by the legal or beneficial owner of the exclusive right at the time of the infringement for which the claimant seeks damages, if any, within the limitations set forth in subsection (e)(1).
      “(2) A claim for a declaration of noninfringement of an exclusive right in a copyrighted work provided under section 106, consistent with section 2201 of title 28.
      “(3) A claim under section 512(f) for misrepresentation in connection with a notification of claimed infringement or a counter notification seeking to replace removed or disabled material, except that any remedies relating to such a claim in a proceeding before the Copyright Claims Board shall be limited to those available under this chapter.
      “(4) A counterclaim that is asserted solely against the claimant in a proceeding—
      “(A) pursuant to which the counterclaimant seeks damages, if any, within the limitations set forth in subsection (e)(1); and
      “(B) that—
      “(i) arises under section 106 or section 512(f) and out of the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject of a claim of infringement brought under paragraph (1), a claim of noninfringement brought under paragraph (2), or a claim of misrepresentation brought under paragraph (3); or
      “(ii) arises under an agreement pertaining to the same transaction or occurrence that is the subject of a claim of infringement brought under paragraph (1), if the agreement could affect the relief awarded to the claimant.

      As EFF says, the claims of infringement can be against almost anything:


      "In other words, nearly every photo, video, or bit of text on the Internet can suddenly carry a $7,500 price tag if uploaded, downloaded, or shared even if the actual harm from that copying is nil."




      https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/0...-under-new-law

      "May the long time sun
      Shine upon you,
      All love surround you,
      And the pure light within you
      Guide your way on."

      "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
      Aristotle

      “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
      Mohandas Gandhi

      Be the light that is within.

      Comment


      • #4
        09/12/2019 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 206.
        Action By: Senate
        https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-...ew=closed#tabs

        "May the long time sun
        Shine upon you,
        All love surround you,
        And the pure light within you
        Guide your way on."

        "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
        Aristotle

        “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
        Mohandas Gandhi

        Be the light that is within.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tell Congress to Vote No on the CASE Act

          BY KATHARINE TRENDACOSTA
          SEPTEMBER 19, 2019









          Congress is considering passing the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act). Under the CASE Act, people could file copyright infringement claims with an obscure body, under the auspices of an office most people have no experience with. And that board could decide that the subjects of those claims owe up to $30,000 for activities as common as sharing memes, images, and videos online. Tell Congress to vote “no” on the CASE Act.

          https://www.eff.org/eff.org/caseact













          "May the long time sun
          Shine upon you,
          All love surround you,
          And the pure light within you
          Guide your way on."

          "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
          Aristotle

          “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
          Mohandas Gandhi

          Be the light that is within.

          Comment


          • #6
            EFF‏Verified account @EFF 4m4 minutes ago


            The CASE Act would create a complex and obscure system that big players could get out of and small players could be left owing huge sums of money. But Congress thinks $30,000 is a small amount. Tell them different. http://eff.org/caseact


            20.9K views

            Could you come up with $30k?


            Tell Congress to vote NO on the CASE Act.
            The CASE Act would create a "small claims" board that could make Internet users pay $30,000 for normal Internet activities. Rep. Doug Collins believes that these are "truly small" amounts of money.
            "May the long time sun
            Shine upon you,
            All love surround you,
            And the pure light within you
            Guide your way on."

            "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
            Aristotle

            “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
            Mohandas Gandhi

            Be the light that is within.

            Comment


            • #7

              “Think deeply about things. Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say. Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.”
              Aaron Swartz

              "May the long time sun
              Shine upon you,
              All love surround you,
              And the pure light within you
              Guide your way on."

              "Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling."
              Aristotle

              “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
              Mohandas Gandhi

              Be the light that is within.

              Comment

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